Almost every weekend I am shooting a wedding at a new venue that I have never visited before. I love the diversity of weddings I shoot and the amazing locations I get to visit. Sometimes it is nice to come back to a venue that I have worked at before, especially if the venue is as gorgeous as Sault Daylesford. I always enjoy my drive out to Daylesford and the food scene at that little town is incredible.
I wanted to stop and spend a little time at Sault Daylesford to get to know the staff a little more and learn how a wedding venue operates. The better the understanding I have of other vendors in the industry, the easier shooting a wedding becomes.
Jodi, you guys have such a beautiful & popular wedding venue in Daylesford, how did the venue get started?
Thank you, Damien and I actually were married at Sault 11 years ago and we fell in love with the region and the idea of creating a new life in Daylesford.
We then took a leap of faith based on the elation of being newly married and feeling excited at the idea of change we brought Sault.
We then set about breathing new life into a venue and set about creating a destination for guests to enjoy the 120 acre property, surrounded by lavender fields and our own beautiful lake.
We did all the gardening ourselves and ensured that the chefs we had with us were passionate about organic and local produce.
Our philosophy has always been, to act with kindness and generosity. This will be the flow on effect around our business and there have been so many cases were for me, magic has happened because of this. We still have a lovely connection with Gordon (one of the previous owners), who painstakingly planted all our lavender, built the lake and flew our Fountain in from France. Legend has it, that in the town the fountain was from, once a year the locals filled it with champagne. Now we have lily’s in it, planted by our daughter Lilly Anna Rose.
What career did you have before entering the wedding industry?
My husband is an actor and singer and was supporting this with working in events with our dear friend Xen from Trumpet events. I was studying at the National Theatre Company in St Kilda and working in retail and styling. I had throughout my teenage years worked in hospitality to support myself, so I had a strong background in this area.
What do you love most about your job?
I adore working with our brilliant chefs and delight in the incredible dishes they create. As well as the journey I take with our brides from the initial booking right through to the day of the wedding when I meet them with a mineral water, before they head down through the lavender to the wedding chapel.
I still get butterfly’s for them as it is such a personal moment to be part of, the moment the barn door is opened and the emotion is heightened, it is quite incredible. I also love working in such a beautiful venue, with views from every window and the sunsets over the lake are breathtaking.
What are some of the key questions a bride/groom should ask when considering their venue?
How the day will be run and who will be assisting them, this is essential so they feel supported on the day and can just relax and know everything will flow around them, that way they can just enjoy every moment.
Do you have any advice for couples looking to book a venue?
Make sure it resonates with you on a personal level, it is such a special day and it is important you feel welcomed in the venue. Ensure that you are choosing it for you and not to please others, your guests will then feel that on the day, that it is a true and a beautiful reflection of the great food, great wine, great service and a very unique venue that will wow your guests, but also somewhere you feel at home. This will also translate into your photos, which really are so integral to capturing the magic of the day.
Sault has some amazing lavender fields, what is the best time of year to see them flowering?
Our lavender fields flower in the left field from November to December and the field opposite the wedding chapel in Jan and Feb, but can still be there through to March.
You guys take great pride in the food you serve at Sault, why is food so important to your venue?
Food is the life force that beats within the heart of our venue. It is how our brilliant chef showcases the incredible food we have in this region. We can tell a story with food, it is important for our guests to feel the love in each dish and this is often the feedback from many guests. It has been so exciting to have our Spanish head chef Santiago with us, and now offer tapas on our menu as a brilliant reflection of his home in Galicia. Also to offer our guests the 7 course Tasting Menu, each dish has been carefully thought out and takes guests on a journey from start to finish, Santi has delved into the ancient recipes from Spain then cleverly brought them back to life using our regional produce and herbs from the gardens.
Do you have a team of local vendors you like to work with in the wedding industry?
We do, we have created a very special list over the past 10 years of brilliant vendors whom we admire immensely and adore what they do. Most of our brides use this list to book all their suppliers and are so grateful on the day as they are always happy with the vendors on the list we provide. Most of these people become dear friends and all of them I am deeply inspired by and proud of within this industry.
If you could give the photographer one piece of advice to make your life easier on a wedding day, what would it be?
I don’t like to generally give advice to artists, but generally I would say have a list of family members the couples want photos with so nobody is forgotten.
What would typically be on your music playlist during the week when you have some down time?
If I am with our kids its Queen, as my husband Damien was in the We Will Rock you musical and sang with the boys from Queen on opening night, so our kids think he was in the band and was friends with Freddy, and they love old-school rock. Also David Bowie, then if I am being completely honest and I am driving alone to a meeting I play Sia really loud and sing like nobody’s watching…
Anything else you would like to add?
Just how grateful I am to be a part of such an amazing journey at Sault and how enriched my life has become along the way and how I adore the friendship and kindness I have felt from other suppliers like you…I adore my job and the creativity that comes from Sault and the people we meet and collaborate with.